Want an easy way to explore the world of whole grains? Each month the Whole Grains Council celebrates a different whole grain, and you can join in by trying something new each month. Here’s the line-up for each grain:

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January: Oats

January has long been celebrated as Oatmeal Month. It’s a time when residents of the Northern Hemisphere, in the deep of winter, turn to the comforts of hot cereal at breakfast, and oatmeal is in its prime. Learn more…

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February: Barley

February celebrates the heart – emotionally (with Valentine’s Day) and physically (as Heart Health Month). Barley’s effects on your love life are as yet unproven, but studies show strong support for barley’s role in protecting heart health. In fact, since 2005, the U.S. FDA has allowed barley foods to claim that they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Learn more…

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March: Quinoa

High in the Andes, the quinoa harvest starts in late March, when farmers gather together for celebrations like the two-day Harvest Festival near the salt flats of Uyuni – a gathering of representatives from 4,000 family farms. By celebrating quinoa in March, we’re honoring these timeless traditions, with information about this unique “mother grain.” Learn more…

Sprouted Grains are April's Grain of the Month

April: Sprouted Grains

We’re taking a slight departure this month, to recognize the intriguing nutritional advantages of sprouted grains. Historically, many of our grains sprouted accidentally, a happenstance that modern techniques have largely eradicated. Now, however, we’re learning that we may be missing out by turning our back on sprouting; new techniques of controlled sprouting give us the best of the past, for better health.  Learn more…

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May: Amaranth

Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease are on the rise. May is Celiac Awareness Month, a good time to celebrate a gluten-free grain like amaranth. Its high protein content, subtly complex flavor, and unique properties when cooked make it a whole grain worth exploring.  Learn more…

Sorghum June Grain of the Month

June: Sorghum

In the U.S., sorghum is planted in June, a good time for us to “plant” information about sorghum in people’s minds. Most sorghum in this country is grown for animal feed, but that’s changing, as food manufacturers discover the neutral flavor and good nutritional profile of sorghum. And who knew? You can even pop sorghum like popcorn! Learn more…

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July: Wheat

At mid-year, we’ll honor wheat, the grain that makes up about 70% of the grain consumed in the U.S. Much of our wheat is harvested in June, so wheat-country farmers have long celebrated the grain’s bounty in July, when they can rest from their labors and enjoy a good festival. Learn more…

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August: Rye and Triticale

In Scandinavia, where rye is the main grain consumed, the harvest begins in August, and people look forward to enjoying bread and porridge made from the new grains. Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye, makes a great partner, sharing August’s honors. Learn more…

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September: Rice and Wild Rice

For two decades, September has been recognized as Rice Month, and we’re continuing that tradition. Though it’s not actually a kind of rice, Wild Rice is also celebrated in September, a time when this uniquely American whole grain is harvested, and when the wild rice fields offer sustenance and repose to flocks of migrating birds. Learn more…

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October: Corn (including Popcorn)

King Corn rules in October, a month that’s also been proclaimed as “Poppin’ Popcorn Month.” Known as “maize” in most of the world, corn is actually the most widely-grown crop in the Americas, where it originated. Learn more…

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November: Millet and Teff

During November we focus on two grains not widely known: millet and teff (which is a type of millet). In November, Taiwan’s indigenous Bunun people hold a huge millet festival – you can even see the traditional singing of the millet hymn on YouTube. Meanwhile, across the globe in Ethiopia, teff is being harvested in November, to be made into injera, the country’s traditional spongy flatbread. Learn more about millet and about teff.

Buckwheat is December's grain of the month

December: Buckwheat

Blini, small buckwheat pancakes, are a longtime holiday tradition in Eastern Europe and Russia, and these days, a popular treat for Christmas celebrations. But buckwheat (which is not a kind of wheat!) also turns up on French tables in Brittany’s galettes (savory crèpes), Japan’s soba noodles, and many more dishes worldwide. Learn more…